Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Trampoline...

My Family Trampoline
My Dad is the net keeping us safe
My Mom is the springs, keeping us going
My Sister is the canvas. Without her, I could not have fun
My Dog is the support bars
We build our love on her
I'm the spring cover. I help people not fall.
-A Metephor by Michael Collins Jr
Now that being said,
This is what our trampline looks like right now...

Ironic? I think not!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday... Puppy Lovin'...

Join with 5Minutes4Mom and link up.

What's For Dinner Wednesday... Homemade Cafe Rio...

I actually served this LAST Wednesday for dinner, but it has taken me this long to get the post together. This is my all time favorite recipe for pork loin... The Cafe Rio Sweet Pork recipe (seen above served with citrus almond rice, sour cream and salsa):

1 good size pork loin
1 2 liter bottle coke (I use caffeine free)
1 16oz jar of your favorite salsa
2 cups brown sugar

Put the pork loin in your crock pot and pour enough coke in to just cover it. Cook the roast on high for about 6 hours. Drain off the coke and shred the pork. Mix together about 16oz fresh coke, the jar of salsa and the 2 cups of brown sugar. (I throw it all in the blender to get rid of the chunks.) Put everything back in the crock pot and cook an additional 1-2 hours on high till it is all delicious looking. Put the crock pot on low until ready to serve.

Serve on tortillas with rice, salsa and sour cream... or go the whole mile and make all the salad toppings. Did you know you can now buy the tortilla strips they put on the top at Smiths? They come in Regular and Santa Fe flavor!

Here is the recipe for the Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing. (I have tried many variations of this recipe, and this is by far the closest to the actual dressing. It is heavenly and the one I use every time now!):

1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayo (not miracle whip)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 pkg dry ranch buttermilk dressing
2 medium tomatillos (remove outer leaves)
1 tsp crushed garlic
3/4-1 bunch of Cilantro
2 to 4 tsp green Tabasco sauce
Juice from 1 lime
Salt & pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve. (At least one hour.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Love Of My Life...

Hard to breath
Feels like floating
So full of love
My heart's exploding
Mouth is dry
Hands are shaking
My heart is yours
For the taking
Acting weird
Not myself
Dancing around
Like the Keebler elf
Finally time
For this poor schlubb
To know how it feels
To fall in lub.
(-Mr. Deeds)

Happy Valentines Day to my dear, sweet, HOT Hubby! :)
I love you more today than the day I married you. ♥

Monday, February 8, 2010

To Be Healthy or To Be Yummy, That Is The Question...

I have to admit that I have always kind of believed that there are two kinds of recipes. The yummy kind and the healthy kind. Don't get me wrong, I know that when I cook healthy, within a few days my body adjusts and healthy food can taste good, but lets not kid ourselves that carrots taste as delicious as chocolate, eh?
Anyway, this weekend I tried out a couple of new recipes for a friend that has recently found out she has high cholesterol and while they were all pretty good, one stood out to me as really yummy. Yummy AND healthy? I stand corrected.
This is the recipe for Zucchini-Carrot Bread. (I'd post a pic, but it is all gone... I'll try and remember to snap one next time I make it.)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oat bran (after going to two stores and not finding this, I substituted another 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 good size zucchini... I peeled off the green skin with a potato peeler before shredding it so that I don't have dark green stuff in the bread, which puts my family off of eating it.)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (about three good size carrots)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional, but I added them.)
Preheat oven to 350 and spray 8x5 loaf pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, whisk together honey, oil, egg and vanilla. In another bowl combine the flours, oat bran, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add dry ingredients to honey mixture with zucchini, carrots and orange peel and stir to blend well. Add walnuts. Spoon in to pan. Bake about 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.
I found this bread to be super moist, which surprised me with the amount of wheat flour that I put in there! Also, because I shredded the veggies on the finest side of my grater, you really couldn't tell they were an ingredient and it is always good to be able to get a couple extra servings of veggies in my kids! The orange flavor was divine. If you wanted to go the extra mile, I bet a handful of craisins would be nice in it too. Anyway, this recipe is definitely a keeper. :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Romance on a budget...

Love this blog... such cute, fun ideas... just in time for Valentines Day. ♥

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blog Design Fun...

So I recently decided that I was going to change up my blog design. I wanted it similar to my Frugalityville website... more simple looking. (No more cutesy backgrounds... I wanted to just use a few embellishments instead.)
For my blog I decided to use the Minima Stretch Template... it stretches my columns across the whole page instead of putting them in a smaller column down the middle. I then designed a header with the graphics and fonts that I liked using photoshop. I created a signature that will automatically post on new posts, I added a graphic to the front of my Blog Post Titles, I put a cute divider between my posts and then changed my font colors to match my header and other graphics. I am pretty pleased with how everything turned out... for now anyway! ;)
It occurred to me that there might be some of you out there who would like to know where you can go to get information on how to do some of this stuff, so here are some of my favorite sites that will get you on your way:
For really cute scrapbooking type graphics for your web pages that are free for non-commercial, personal use, Summer does a fabulous site with lots of scrapbooking kits to choose from. Visit (I used the Happy Mothers Day Kit to make my header, my line dividers and the little graphics at the front of each post title.)
If you want a ton of new, extremely cute free handwriting and scrapbooking fonts, Amanda offers a brilliant selection at her website. Just visit and look for the buttons that let you download the entire collection in one swoop. These fonts will work in your graphics programs as well as Word. (If you don't know how to install them on your computer and you live near me, I would be happy to come over and show ya! Creative I am not... Computer literate, I actually am!)
So once you have gotten your graphics and fonts, how do you put everything together? What size new graphics do you make for each element? How do you upload them or change the HTML code on your page? Well, there are some really good tutorials out there to help, (as well as a lot of free already made stuff if you don't want to make it yourself!)
The girls at Cutest Blog On The Block not only have tons of free backgrounds, but they have a section called "Blogging Secrets". Here you can learn how to make your own background, how to add a cute signature to your posts, how to add an image next to your sidebar and post titles, how to remove those pesky border lines that never line up properly from behind your header and much, much more!
Megan at Shabby Blogs teaches you how to put a divider between your posts instead of that boring line! Need a cute header or divider but don't want to spend the time making it? Check out her EXTRA's page which lets you download some really cute ones. Need to know how to install them? She tells you HERE how to do it.
There are lots of sites out there that have free backgrounds and headers if you just want to upload pre-made one's on to your blog. A couple I like (other than the ones mentioned above), are:
What are you favorite sites to help with Blog Design? Do you have a graphics program that you love to help you create your backgrounds and headers?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happiness Project... ♥ February ♥

January has come and gone. Really? Can you believe it? We are a twelfth of the way through the year already! I think the older you get, the quicker time goes by... at least it seems that way to me.

My January focus was Health/Fitness/Beauty. I had a fun month and did some things that I wouldn't normally do... I spent a lot of time on the Wii Fit, tried to eat healthier, said no a lot more to treats than I usually do, painted my nails all kinds of wild colors to try and make them prettier... but there is so much more I need to do. For example, a very good friend of mine lent me the Slim In Six DVD. I almost DIED doing this!!! I seriously couldn't walk for like three days afterwards, and stairs??? I whimpered all the way up and down them. So I gave up on that way too quickly. I need to do other exercise other than just the Wii and I need to be less lazy and stop eating out so much and be better at cooking dinner. Anyway, that is why I picked this as my focus for January, because I have to keep on focusing on it the whoooooooooooole year. :)

So February is the month of Valentines and so I picked LOVE as my focus for this month. (As in improving relationships.) I am guilty of spending way too much time wrapped up in frivolous things... especially on the computer... like facebook and yes, even blogging and blog stalking. When I think about what I really want in life, it doesn't include being a virtual farmer or the high scorer on bejeweled blitz. And it certainly doesn't include me spending hours reading and commenting on the blogs of people I don't even know! I really want to be a good wife, a good mother, a good daughter, a good sister... and all of these things require nurturing relationships... the most important relationships... people I do know and love. They deserve the best of me. So here are some of my ideas on things I can do for this month:
  • Have a date night with my hubby every week... one of those weeks at the Temple. (This is actually quite easy for us since my kids are old enough to take care of themselves.)
  • Consciously think of little ways to make my hubby feel special each day. Make an effort to greet him when he comes through the door each night
  • Have a mother/daughter date and a mother/son date at least once this month. (Mike Sr can take the other one out each time for father/child time.)
  • Try to keep calm and keep my voice down when the kids are arguing or being ornery... only yelling if there is a fire! :)
  • Plan a family day trip for one day this month.
  • Have my mom and dad over for dinner once and go to their house to have a genealogy night.
  • Temple Baptisms with all the extended family on Feb 12th at the Salt Lake Temple.
  • Lunch with my two sisters who live in Utah once this month.
  • Some kind of contact with my Brother & Sister who live in England this month, whether by phone, email, or letter.

Well there it is. I have also been considering closing down my Frugalityville blog since maintaining a second blog is simply time draining and that is more time away from my fam. My thought is to just post "Frugal Friday's" here on my personal blog where I can post the coupons, Smith's deals and other tips I have. I haven't made a final decision about this though...

What is your focus for February? If you post, leave me a comment with a link so I can come visit. :)